Vending Machine Cuts Maintenance Time

Air Force maintainers at Barksdale AFB, La., don’t have to wait in long lines for spare parts anymore thanks to the creative thinking of a fellow supply technician. SSgt. Justin Garcia, who is assigned to the 2nd Maintenance Squadron, pitched the idea of a parts vending machine to his leaders. The machine, installed on Nov. 15, not only dispenses small, universal parts, such as bolts and washers, but also keeps an accurate count of inventory. Airmen looking to use the machine simply type in a pin number and then choose the part they need—a vast improvement over standing in line at a window. “Tools, parts, even snack bar items were all at the same window. An airman needing two bolts could be waiting in line behind an entire flight checking out tools for the day,” explained Garcia. He added, “It was basically a funnel that the window could not keep up with.” (Barksdale release by SrA. Chad Warren)